More African American lung cancer deaths in segregated areas
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Study links segregation and higher African American lung cancer
from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center analyzed national data on lung
cancer deaths between 2003 and 2007 and found black lung cancer patients had a
59 percent death rate, compared with 51 percent of white lung cancer patients. But blacks living in the most segregated areas
had a mortality rate 10 percent higher blacks living in diverse communities. The
higher rates were consistent regardless of the socio-economic status of the
black cancer patients.
The investigators also found that 32 percent of the U.S.
population lives in counties with high segregation, 40 percent in counties with
moderate segregation, and 28 percent in counties with low segregation.
Segregation was highest in the Northeast, Midwest and South, and lowest in the
Northwest. Findings are reported in U.S.
News and World Report, The
New York Times, and BET.
Dr. David Chang, director of outcomes research at the University
of California San Diego Department of Surgery, who wrote an editorial
accompanying the study pubished in JAMA/Surgery, told the Times he hoped further study
would focus on environmental factors
involved in the stark health disparities the United States rather than genetics
and individual behavior..
"We don’t need drugs or
genetic explanations to fix a lot of the health care problems we have,” Dr. Chang said.